Sunday, October 28, 2007


Here is a link for my friend who just this week really laid into me for "Still" being angry about my own life experiences.

And for the commenter a few entries back who got upset at me for using the word RAPE.

And for all my sisters who are getting sliced up tonight.

and for all of the @#$%&*& people who beg and implore me to hush hush cheer up take your knifings and move on, for your own healthy state of mind! Move on, move on--

I HAVE moved on. Life moves you on. Time ticks on. But shit is STILL messed up and like any abuse situation in this world, there need to be activists who STAY pissed and who WORK for change.

So, no, I will not placate the queasy. I will not "drop it". It doenst make me some sick freak who is "wallowing in my past", it makes me an aware caring person who refuses to turn a blind eye to shit that is BAD.

Thank you, SageFemme for the linky head's up. Thank you to this new blogger for sayin it so boldly. Thank you and my deepest empathies and sympathies to all the Mamas who have been butchered, and thank you to my heart and my brain for lining up and for that pathway refusing to be blocked or cluttered from what it is that I have concerns about in this world.

P.S. I have had non-consentual sex. It was a billion times worse getting sectioned. That is MY life's experience, and nobody gets to negate it.


Sarah T said...

You need to stay angry, it's what moves you forward. Your story, told with all the passion of that anger, is what persuades many people that you really know what you're talking about. You can throw all of the logic and statistics in the world at me, but it seems all very vague. Hearing (or reading) the story makes a much larger impact. I have seen that in issues that I work on. People don't want to listen to facts until they know where I come from.

I have never had a c-section. I was threatened with one, was told that I would have it with or without my consent. I walked out of the hospital because I didn't think it was necessary. I found out later that the hospital called the police on me. Fortunately, the police told the hospital that I was there by choice and had the right to leave.

As for the use of the term "rape", I can't think of a better word. You were violated. I avoided getting sliced, but was still subject to unwanted and unneeded intervention. I was violated. There is no other word for it.

Rixa said...

Wow--those kind of stories make me wonder how people can, in their right minds, justify the threats and coercion. Good for you for standing up and walking away to an unnecessary surgery.

Summer said...

If it violates your body it is rape. If that is how the mother feels aftrwards, and many do, then it is rape.

Kelley said...

I don't really know what to say except that you are affecting people's lives for good. You certainly have for mine.

Amanda said...

Wow, can you call this person your friend? A person who tells you to get over it? While I haven't had kids yet and can't attest to anything that you may have gone through, I am so mad on your behalf that any 'friend' would tell you to get over something that has clearly made such an impact on you. I am indignant on your behalf and hope that this person never has to go through such a harrowing experience and then have someone tell them to 'get over it.' No one deserves that.

Morag said...

Sadly, I think your anger and the anger of the THOUSANDS of women like you, is all that will change the status quo.

Trish said...

I would just like to add here that you have obviously "moved on". You have 4 beautiful children. You are livin' your life. You are not laying in a ball in the corner.

Anger is what motivates us to accomplish what seems impossible. I am still angry - and I still am brought to tears - by some of what happened at my births. That does not mean that I haven't "moved on". I'm done having babies, but this anger will motivate me to educate my daughters - encourage them to explore a non-medical birth when the day comes.

I think what you're doing here is wonderful. I think it's healthy to share our anger and our pain. It might just help someone else to know that they're not alone in feeling similar - or having a similar situation in their life.

Keep rockin', mama!

mm said...

Six years later... and I'm still angry. I'm even more angry at the person who said that I was 'too angry' and offered to, 'as a professional' HEAL ME.... ummm yeah, can think of better things than giving her 500$ so I can be a part of the big c/s awareness inner circle.
Every one has a right to wear their scar as their own... Have you been by Red Spiral lately? Oh so amazing her words. Both of you are so much better at this than I am. I just come across as a raving lunatic. =)

HW said...

Actually I wasn't mad at you for using the word "Rape". Although, apparently you are now mad at me for expressing my opinion. I tried very hard to word my comment respectfully and obviously failed. For that, I apologize.

I continue to rethink many things in my life because of your posts and have never meant to negate your experiences and the affects they have had on you.

I "mourned" for many years over my two c-sections; so, believe it or not, I can kind of relate to much what you've been saying.

Housefairy said...

I am not mad at all that you expressed your opinion, HW. I welcome all comments, truly. I thought for along time about the thing you wrote and decided not to comment on it then. I used RAPE along time ago in some old posts and got some other negative feedback. I just wanted to say now that I really realy don't feel that my bodily violations and my choice of what to call them downplays the experiences of other women. Many may disagree with me.

I really really thankful for this feedback on this post. Late last week I was really dragged down by the person who decided to ride me about my blog and I just want you all to know that I feel much much better now.

I do understand what a hot button the word rape can be and I thought about using it, but decided that it was exactly how being completely defenseless and having my private parts violated and my soul haunted at the mercy of a stronger person who had emotional and physical power over me felt like.

emjaybee said...

Rape is a strong word. I've known women who were raped, and hesitated to use it to describe my c/sec.

But that's what it felt like. And that's the kind of bodily and mental reactions I had to what happened to me. One of my survivor friends told me that herself; she recognized my feelings of shame, dissociation, anger, and grief, she had seen them in assaulted women too.

I could not touch my own belly for weeks afterward, not because it hurt, but because I didn't want it to belong to me anymore. I didn't want to be in my body anymore. And those are the reactions of an assault survivor. Our bodies know what happened, no matter what we call it.

Housefairy said...

Thank you.

Shame is the big one that let me know that this wasnt just "dissapointing". Shame and pulling out of relationships and withdrawing from things I enjoyed, feeling afraid alot, nightmares, and even tons of psychosexual stuff surrounding my sore/numb body.

Jill said...

It's because of all the women who just shrug it off and assume that "doc saved my life, thank goodness!" that these atrocities still happen.

Like a previous commenter said, you aren't laying in a ball in the corner. You are DOING something with your rage. You are working to CHANGE things. You are righteously indignant, not schlumping around going, "woe is me, my poor body is forever ruined, wahhh!" There's a difference.

And YES it is rape! When things are done to a woman's body without her consent, that is rape! And since most of these things involve her vagina, how can anyone dispute that???

Rixa said...

I think the term "rape" in the context of birth makes people squirm because people think rape = sex when really rape = power. And since most people don't see birth has having a sexual dimension (and since most birthrape doesn't occur with the perpetrator wanting a specifically sexual encounter), it's easy for people to discredit the idea. Makes sense?

I am discussing birthrape in my dissertation, BTW. It will be a short segment in one of my chapters, because that is not the overall focus of my project, but I think there's room out there for a lot of research on the topic. I've also been corresponding with a woman who wants to work together on birth abuse/rape after she finishes her master's degree. Too many interesting things to do, too little time!

Angi said...

You all have really made me see another viewpoint with regards to this "birth-rape" issue. At first glance it is very normal to go-whoa hold on, how can anyone call a "little c-section" rape, it's "just a surgery". Rape is so widely viewed as the worst thing that can happen to a woman, pretty much next to death. I read HW's post and thought, "that's true". I've never heard anyone describe their after-section feelings in such a stark way as you all have. When someone takes your power and choice away and forces something on you physically, especially when you are in such a helpless state I can see why it felt like rape. My second birth has always felt to me like abuse, and I think some people would probably think that was going to's not.

phillipsmob said...

Couldn't agree more!

The only problem is how do you make a change? I am struggling with that right now. How do I use my experience to make a change?

kris said...

i was just talking yesterday morning w/ a woman about how it's ok for us to still feel things. regardless of how other people things, we are allowed to OWN our feelings.

and from experience, sometimes the moving on part hurts just as much as the actual abuse.

phillipsmob-in my situation, what you do to change is become a doula!! :)

keep it coming for us joy-you rock:)

phillipsmob said...

That's my plan then on to CNM! But, it wont happen for awhile. So many moms who want to change the world are doing it one child at a time b/c we do not have so much time to raise our voices and be heard by the community.

Housefairy said...

I realy appreciate where this is all going, and I thank everyone who has added to this discussion. I can only speak for myself, and when I cast my stories outward into the sea of other people, sometimes I find out that I am not alone, in fact, far, far from it.

My 2 c-sections enraged and confused me. There are unresolved issues surrounding both of them. I have alot of personal blame surrounding them, and of course, that is useless but also gets into some "I shouldnt have worn the miniskirt" kind of messed up territory. Its all messed up, really.

What my friend was riding me about was my post a few weeks back where i said that I was so angry about ebing ABANDONED after my c sections that I scream (and scream and scream....)

I was completely f-ing abandoned after the 2 most terrifying, painful, confusing, dissapointing and dangerous times in my entore life. A-B-A-N-D-O-N-E-D. This is all entangled in my memories of these events--and to tell the truth, if I had had some thing even slightly closer to a support network or family surrounding me, even visiting me or ANYTHING, things would have been much different for me no doubt. So I do equate the c-sections with being SUCH bad things in my life, that surely other folks with different stories will feel something different. Maybe folks who felt that their c-section was warranted or necessary. Folks who had someone stay with them in the hospital. Folks who had family and or friends there for them when they got home from the hospital, folks to bring them meals, to stay with them a few days post-op, folks to help them take care of all their other children. then maybe it would be just another way to be born, a really sore tummy, a scar. For me, it was an absolutly devastating way to end what were cool, happy pregnancies and to start months of pain and terror. Sucks.

I have lost all track of this train of thought, but continue to want to share with y'all.